McGuire's race for 72nd District thrives on small donations from diverse sources
Maintaining a balance between campaigning and fundraising is no easy feat, especially for a working mother and activist like Brandi McGuire, the Republican candidate for the Illinois District 72 House seat, a spokesman said during a recent interview.
"It's fairly difficult," campaign spokesman Adrian Madunic recently told Rock Island Today. "I think most any candidate would say the same thing."
Donations from supporters included a $1,500 check from state Sen. Neil Anderson (R-Moline).
"Brandi appreciates the campaign contribution from Sen. Neil Anderson's campaign committee," Madunic said. "The senator matched donations raised that day from an event held by Rock Island supporters."
Much of the financial support McGuire's campaign has received comes in small amounts, according to Madunic.
"As a citizen candidate, donations to Brandi's campaign come from all parts of the district and from all segments of the population," he said. "Many donations are $5, $10, etc. She's getting support from a broad range of people in the community."
These donations come from Democrats as well as Republicans -- and from members of other parties throughout the district.
"It's been very difficult," Madunic said. "That's especially because we had a challenger in the primary."
In March, McGuire defeated Jordan Thoms during the Republican primary. Now, she is running against the Democrat Party nominee, Mike Halpin, who beat Jeff Jacobs in that party's primary.
The two are challenging each other for the state House seat occupied by state Rep. Pat Verschoore (D-Milan). The 72-year-old Verschoore, who has represented the 72nd District since he was appointed in March 2003, plans to retire after his present term.
McGuire, founder of Ribbons For Kellsey, officially kicked off her campaign the previous September at a rally attended by Anderson, as well as former state Rep. Bobby Schilling and heads of the district's Republican parties. At that gathering, McGuire promised to represent all residents in the district, regardless of party affiliation. She also promised to make pension reform a major goal and to rid the state General Assembly of all pensions, points she has repeated for her now almost year-old campaign.
The Republican also has repeated what sparked her campaign in the first place, the statement still on her campaign website: "I am running for state representative so that no child and no family ever has to go through what my daughter and my family went through."
McGuire's legal battle against the Sherrard School District over the district's response to her daughter, Kellsey, who has epilepsy, and her service dog, Jasper, became McGuire's raison d'être to run in the 72nd District. It was her dispute with the school district and concern about other issues that allowed her to work with Anderson on legislation. Anderson quickly became a strong supporter of McGuire's political aspirations.
The school district eventually settled, and McGuire announced her campaign.
"When politicians violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and their obligation to her daughter, Brandi McGuire took them on and won," according to her campaign website.